ADAM17-A Potential Blood-Based Biomarker for Detection of Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer


Christoph Rogmans, Jan Kuhlmann, Gerrit Hugendieck, Theresa Link, Norbert Arnold, Jörg Weimer, Inken Flörkemeier, Anna-Christina Rambow, Wolfgang Lieb, Nicolai Maass, Dirk Bauerschlag, Nina Hedemann








Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecological tumors. This is based on late diagnosis and the lack of early symptoms. To improve early detection, it is essential to find reliable biomarkers. The metalloprotease ADAM17 could be a potential marker, as it is highly expressed in many solid tumors, including ovarian and breast cancer. The aim of this work is to evaluate the relevance of ADAM17 as a potential diagnostic blood-based biomarker in ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer cell lines IGROV-1 and A2780, as well as primary patient-derived tumor cells obtained from tumor tissue and ascitic fluid, were cultured to analyze ADAM17 abundance in the culture supernatant. In a translational approach, a cohort of 117 well-characterized ovarian cancer patients was assembled and ADAM17 levels in serum and corresponding ascitic fluid were determined at primary diagnosis. ADAM17 was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In the present study, ADAM17 was detected in the culture supernatant of ovarian cancer cell lines and primary cells. In addition, ADAM17 was found in serum and ascites of ovarian cancer patients. ADAM17 level was significantly increased in ovarian cancer patients compared to an age-matched control group (p < 0.0001). Importantly early FIGO I/II stages, which would not have been detected by CA-125, were associated with higher ADAM17 concentrations (p = 0.007). This is the first study proposing ADAM17 as a serum tumor marker in the setting of a gynecological tumor disease. Usage of ADAM17 in combination with CA-125 and other markers could help detect early stages of ovarian cancer.